incendiary


1in·cen·di·ary

noun \in-ˈsen-dē-ˌer-ē; -ˈsen-də-rē, -dyə-\
plural in·cen·di·ar·ies

Definition of INCENDIARY

1
a :  a person who commits arson :  arsonist
b :  a substance or weapon (as a bomb) used to start fires
2
:  a person who excites factions, quarrels, or sedition :  agitator

Examples of INCENDIARY

  1. <firefighters caught the incendiary, who was watching the effects of his handiwork>
  2. <blamed the protests on outside incendiaries who were intent on overthrowing the government>
  3. He was convinced that the arsonist was not at all what the town imagined: not brazen, but callow; not an expert incendiary noiselessly plying deer paths, but someone who was driving right up to his targets and fumbling with matches … —Barry Werth, New England Monthly, February 1989

Origin of INCENDIARY

Middle English, from Latin incendiarius, from incendium conflagration, from incendere
First Known Use: 15th century

Related to INCENDIARY

Other Weapons and Explosives Terms

automatic, carbine, cudgel, muzzle, rapier

2in·cen·di·ary

adjective \in-ˈsen-dē-ˌer-ē; -ˈsen-də-rē, -dyə-\

: containing chemicals that explode into flame : producing a fire

: causing anger

Full Definition of INCENDIARY

1
:  of, relating to, or involving arson :  arsonous
2
:  tending to excite or inflame :  inflammatory <incendiary speeches>
3
a :  igniting combustible materials spontaneously
b :  of, relating to, or being a weapon (as a bomb) designed to start fires
4
:  extremely hot <incendiary chili peppers>

Examples of INCENDIARY

  1. The fire was started by an incendiary bomb.
  2. <recklessly made incendiary remarks during a period of heightened racial tensions>
  3. While visual effects experts work with images, mechanical effects experts work with machinery, tools, incendiary devices, and other equipment to manipulate physical events during live-action filming. —Patricia D. Netzley, Encyclopedia of Movie Special Effects, 2000

Origin of INCENDIARY

(see 1incendiary)
First Known Use: 15th century

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: incendiary bomb
Previous Word in the Dictionary: incendiarist
All Words Near: incendiary

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up incendiary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More